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Why Gender Disparity Follows on From School to the Workplace

By Candidate

Gender disparity is predominantly presented in recent news as mainly associated with the workplace and how this issue affects employees’ salaries.

However, a recent study by has investigated the in-depth origin of this problem, revealing how gender imbalance is affecting students in higher education and its reflection in their working future.

Gender Distribution in Higher Education

The number of students deciding to continue into higher education has steadily increased over the last few years despite rising fees. 1,273,335 women have entered higher education over the last year, compared to  992,270 men. Here are the top five subjects studied in the UK:

  1. Business and Administrative Studies – With over 326,000 people studying Business and Administrative studies in the UK, it is the most popular subject in the selected fields. There isn’t a large disparity between the number of female and male students – as 161,450 are female and 165,325 are women, the only subject that has a similar gender distribution.
  2. Engineering and Technology – Coming at number two on the list, Engineering and Technology show a significant disparity between the genders. There are just under 27,000 women studying the subject, compared to an overwhelming 134,340 of men.
  3. Computer Science – With a total of 93,210 students taking this subject, computer science has seen an influx over the past few years. However, like Engineering and Technology, there is a significant difference between the number of men and women studying the subject. Just 16,000 women study computer science compared to over 77,000 men.
  4. Law – Over 87,000 students study law – making it the fourth most studied subject on the list. It is one of the subjects that have more female students compared to male, with 53,545 women and 34,035 men.
  5. Medicine and Dentistry – Out of the top five, medicine and dentistry is also one of the only subjects that have more female students than male. Out of the 65,995 students, over 37,000 of these are female and just over 28,000 are male.

Genders Represented Across Profession

It is well-known that there are subjects which are gendered causing the “glass slipper effect” which associates certain roles with certain genders. These are the top three professions where we see the largest disparities between the sexes:

  1. Civil Engineers – Closely relating to the statistics showing the gender distribution of those studying engineering and technology, this is also reflected in the number of people in the profession itself. It is the worst industry for gender disparity, as 89% of civil engineers are men compared to 11% of women.
  2. Nurses – Around 88% of nurses are women compared to 12% of men. The role which has stereotypically been associated with maternal and feminine qualities may explain why such a high number of nurses are women.
  3. IT Specialists – Subjects like engineering, technology, and science have often been associated with men, based on gender stereotypes. Similar to the civil engineer profession, IT specialists also see a large difference between the sexes – with 83% of men in the role compared to 17% of women.

Gender Imbalance in Business

Check out here the full infographic by The infographic explains the gender distribution in education and job profession. Also, the study describes the proportion of females in roles by industry and the countries with the highest and lowest representation of women in their boardrooms.

The Value of Enabling Employee Career Plans

By Candidate

The way we do business is constantly evolving – disruptive technologies such as AI and biometrics, cloud technology, the war for talent, changing demographics and a difficult economic environment – all mean that our organizations are redesigned with implications for the whole workforce.

At 10Eighty we have long championed the need to address employee engagement as a route to creativity, collaboration and improved productivity and profits. We believe that organizations need to maximize the development of their talent pool with robust career planning and development opportunities. Employees are the real source of value in any organization and it’s crucial to define and enable career growth and development – to show employees career pathways that work for them.

It should be part and parcel of your employee value proposition to delineate clear roles, pathways and role criteria to allow the employee to navigate career options. Plainly it is not a one-way street for the organization to enable employee career planning because it allows management to plan for critical roles with a talent pipeline that capitalizes on their human capital. Successful career planning which allows employees to achieve their goals and objectives in alignment with organizational goals affords employees job satisfaction while improved productivity and profitability leads to the success of the organization.

Employee expectations and engagement

It makes sense to leverage the strengths and potential for growth of your employees. Good staff want to grow and learn, they need development opportunities and encouragement to build skills and to enhance their personal growth and professional options. Meeting employee expectations with regard to career growth and providing development opportunities will lead to decreased employee turnover and enhance employee engagement; it’s also likely to improve staff wellbeing and reduce absenteeism.

Enabling career planning shows employees that the organization looks after their people in seeking to help them meet their personal ambitions and aspirations with the organizational career framework. The obverse of this coin is that attention to what their employees want allows the organization to plan ahead for skills that will enable the achievement of corporate strategy.

Good career planning motivates, inspires and encourages the employee to reach for personal growth and development while enabling the organizational talent pipeline and succession planning. Enriching the employee career experience provides greater job satisfaction and productivity at an individual level while offering greater organizational agility and mobility of their human resource for the leadership team.

Employee experience and empowerment

We work closely with Fuel50, their CEO, Anne Fulton says that “creating agile career paths to match employees’ different talents, values, and aspirations to business requirements, delivers a powerful payoff – stronger engagement, higher productivity, and optimized talent.” This is a powerful element of the employee experience – when the organization helps employees to understand career options and their transferable skills and development potential for career progression they become an employer of choice where people want to work.

This about empowering employees to understand key career drivers, creating motivating career pathways linked to current role and goals aligned to their values and aspirations while ensuring the organization has the right people and resources for a sustainable future – the right people, in the right place at the right time.

At 10Eighty we believe that constructive and connected conversations between managers and employees is the best route to enhance career development and performance at work, creating a place where employees actually want, not need, to show up to work.

7 ways to perfect your candidate application journey

By Candidate

Candidate journey is an important component of your employer brand, and something you should be constantly looking to improve. Comprised of every touch point that a candidate has with your brand as they move along your application process, it will play a big part in shaping the opinion that is formed of your company as an employer.

From applying to job adverts and having initial discussions with recruiters, right through to interview and offer stage, every part of the journey must reflect your brand’s professionalism and personality. This infographic from StandOut CV shows 7 actionable steps you can take to perfect your candidate journey and strengthen your employer brand.

1. Qualify your vacancies

Before connecting with any candidates it’s crucial that you have a deep understanding of the roles you are recruiting for. without this, the candidate journey will have weak foundations and will fall apart very quickly. Ensure that all vacancies are qualified thoroughly via in-depth meetings with hiring managers to understand the exact candidate requirements for the role, and create a detailed job spec to work from. A five-minute phone call with a hiring manager will not produce nearly enough detail to recruit for a role effectively and will result in the wrong candidates being brought into the process, who will ultimately end up frustrated with the lack of info on the role.

2. Write accurate job adverts

In order to provide a pleasant experience for candidates, you must ensure that you are attracting the most suitable people for your company and the role in question. Whilst you want to sell the role, be sure not to make any exaggerations, keeping the description as factual as possible, especially when it comes to describing remuneration. A candidate who receives a job offer that was much less than they had been led to believe by the advert they applied for, will not become a huge fan of your employer brand.

3. Communicate with all applicants

Once your job adverts are live, it’s important to maintain clear communications with all candidates whether they are successful or not. Ensure all unsuccessful candidates receive some form of notification of their application status, whether it’s an auto-response or personal mail. If candidates have taken the time to apply for your roles and feel as though they have been ignored, it can be very damaging to your employer brand. Communicate with shortlisted candidates by telephone and email to confirm they are being considered for the role, and keep them engaged

4. Manage your shortlist’s expectations

Once you have a shortlist of suitable candidates, you must ensure that they are thoroughly qualified, and fully aware of the role and subsequent process stages. If candidates aren’t properly managed at this stage, you won’t be projecting the image of a professional employer. Conduct telephone or face-to-face interviews to screen candidates, but also to clarify their understanding of the role and expectations, whilst ensuring you feedback to every candidate who has been unsuccessful in a timely manner.

5. Build a robust interview process

Interviewing can be a challenging experience for candidates, so ensure that you make your interview process as smooth and transparent as possible for them. Arrange interviews, ensuring you have a rigorous process to ensure both candidate and hiring manager have confirmed location, date and time. Book out some time to help candidates prepare for interviews, ensuring they understand the format and any topics that will be covered

6. Manage rejections and offers with tact

At the final stage of the recruitment process, candidates have invested lots of time and effort with your company, so you need to ensure they are treated with the utmost respect and professionalism, regardless of the outcome for them. Get job offers out to successful candidates ASAP – making them wait for weeks will really hurt their opinion of your employer brand. Chase hiring managers who are delaying decisions and push to get them out. Inform unsuccessful candidates via telephone and give them detailed feedback as to why they weren’t selected. Candidates who feel brushed aside at this stage of the process are very likely to talk about their negative experience on social media or employer review sites – so don’t give them any reason to.

7. Monitor and improve your candidate journey

To strengthen your employer brand, it’s important that you understand how applicants feel about your customer journey and improve any areas where you are failing. Monitor social media and employer review sites for mentions of your brand, and conduct applicant surveys to get first-hand feedback from people who have been on your candidate journey. Develop and implement plans to strengthen underperforming areas of the journey

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

By Employer

When you find yourself trapped in a toxic work environment, your number one priority should be to protect your mental health. If you end up depressed or sick due to the way things are run, fixing things or making your escape will become much more difficult.

The ongoing distress of a work environment where the pervading attitude is overwhelmingly negative, the management is self-interested and incompetent, and/or bullying and cliques are rife, makes you more likely to experience depression. It can leave you physically and emotionally drained in your work and personal life. And all that stress and depression can take its toll on your body.

Once you’ve identified your workplace as toxic, it will be beneficial for you to find some free time to make a plan. Deciding how to cope with things in advance, putting them on paper, makes you feel more in control when under fire.

Before work
Your free time is your own, and it’s important to separate it from your work time, especially if your job is getting you down. The simplest way to do this is to literally disconnect: sign-out of email and Slack so that you only see work messages when you’re on the clock. Otherwise, you just end up being drawn in emotionally or even by responding when you should be enjoying your breakfast (and your family if they’re around).

At the very least, leave your smartphone in another room overnight so it’s not the first thing you look at when you wake up.

Getting a positive start to the day will better equip you to handle what work throws at you, too. As the appropriately named productivity expert and coach Ellen Goodwin says, it’s all about getting some ‘wins’ behind you.

“If you wake up [energised], you’re going to carry that energy through the rest of the day,” she says.

A win might be making your bed or making time to read a chapter of a novel before you leave the house. Or it might be doing something nice for your other half. Anything that illustrates that you have control over your life will strengthen your mind before you head to work.

At the workplace
A toxic workplace is primarily caused by one thing: people. Negative people or those that default to conflict can very quickly bring down an entire room. If there’s someone in particular like this, slowly begin distancing them from you.

And don’t forget the positive counterpoint to this: people are also good. Amazing, even. So put even more work into getting to know the positive, supportive workers around you, and they will give you the strength to prevail against the emotional vampires.

Do what you can to be the kind of colleague you’d like to have. Be supportive of those who deserve your support, and work towards developing your own skills and experience to build your confidence and your prospects.

After work
Okay, so it’s a relief to be back in the personal zone, but that doesn’t mean relax! It can be all too easy for your mind to get drawn back into the toxic workplace if you don’t give it something else to work on. See friends, get some exercise, try some hobbies, and don’t forget to look after your body by eating well and pampering yourself. Your body will repay your mind with endorphins and maybe even a little clarity.

And once you’re feeling stronger and clearer, you can start working on the next stage: how to escape or how to improve your toxic workplace.

How to Stay Positive When You Hate Your Job

By Candidate

We’ve all been there, hunched over computer screens watching the clock and waiting for another terrible work day to end.

You dislike the management, the company culture or the lack of meaningful work on your desk. In short: you hate your job.

But no matter how much the job sucks, quitting might not always be a feasible option for you. So here’s a few tips on how you can stay positive at work in the meantime:

1) Think about your next job:
Before you hand your resignation in, think about what you want your next job to be. Are there skills you need to develop to make yourself more employable in a few months? Use your time at work to enhance your skill set by volunteering for new projects or taking on new responsibilities. This will help you stay motivated and show your boss some initiative at the same time.

2) Think about your salary:
It’s not about how much you get in your bank account every month but about the good things you can afford with your pay check. Are you saving up for a once in a lifetime trip? How about a new house? New car? Designer shoes? When you can’t get yourself out of bed in the morning, just focus on what each minute at work actually buys you. At the very least, you can be thankful that you have a job to pay for the roof over your head.

3) Smile more:
Studies have shown that smiling decreases stress and can actually make you happy. Smile at your colleagues and resist the urge to send passive-aggressive emails. You might be fed up with your job but you don’t have to inflict misery on everyone else. After all, no one likes working with unhappy people so make the effort to be positive and nice to your colleagues. You never know when you might need to ask them for a reference.

4) Keep a list of all the good things:
Start making a list of all the positive things about your job, your colleagues or your workplace which you might miss when you leave. Will you miss the expensive coffee machine that pours a perfect espresso every time? The free fruit bowl? Going to your favourite place for lunch? How about after work drinks with your colleagues?

5) Dress better:
Take pride in your appearance and go out of your way to dress better for work. When you look good, you’ll feel better, walk taller and be less likely to stab the next person who dares to ask you for something (even if it’s only to avoid getting blood stains on your favourite outfit).

6) Stop whining:
Constantly talking about your problems actually makes you feel worse. You might think that complaining to your friends is therapeutic but all it does is keep re-enforcing the negative feelings you already have about your job. The next time you’re out with your friends, stop thinking about what it’s like being in the office and just enjoy being out of it.

7) Live outside the office:
Try not to get caught up the daily grind. Instead, take a breather every now and again to do something you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s going to the cinema, working out, meeting friends, etc. By scheduling your activities after a work day, you’ll also have something other than the “close-of-business” to look forward to.

Try to stay actively engaged until you’re actually out the door instead of wallowing in your misery. No matter how much you hate your job, don’t forget that it’s only temporary and that you are in charge of your own happiness!

Here’s Why You Really Need Work Friends

By Employer

We all spend a lot of our time at work, and even if you’re lucky enough to love your job, you still need something special to help make that time more enjoyable. What you really need is a work friend. Scientific research has shown that not only does it help you to have a better time when you’re there, it can also make you more productive, so it’s also good news for your employers.

Here’s everything you need to know about work friends and how to make them:

Why work friends are a good idea
A Gallup poll found that having friends at work can boost work satisfaction by 50%, which is great news for you and for your employer’s retention rates. But the even better news is that it’s also good for your health, with Harvard researchers proving that loneliness can cause heart attacks or strokes, so you need to avoid spending 8 hours a day feeling lonely. Socialising can also improve your cardiovascular functioning and lower your levels of stress.

From a purely professional perspective, having a work friend might seem like a potential distraction, but research by MIT has shown that chatting can actually make you MORE productive. It can also boost your resilience, with 75% of employees saying that having a best friend at work made them feel more able to take on any challenges.

How to make work friends
So now you know that having a friend at work is a good thing, but how do you go about actually achieving this? After all, it can be hard enough making a real friend outside of work, never mind trying to become close to people you only share a workspace with because you all need a job and just happened to end up at the same company.

Luckily, there are ways that you can go about it without being too much of a distraction from what you’re being paid to do. The first step is an easy one, which is to try and find common ground with them, which should come up in any casual chats you have about the latest hot show on TV, what they did at the weekend/what their plans are for the weekend, and safe topics like that.

If you’re feeling brave, you can invite them for lunch so that you have the chance to get to know them away from work. Following them on social media is also a good way to get closer to them, though this is a potentially risky move if you judge it wrong and come across like a stalker, so maybe check that they’re connected to other co-workers before you make your move.

If those last two sound a bit too forward for you, there’s potential for social interactions within the workplace routines too. Going on work social events gives you the chance to get to know people you don’t normally get to talk to, and it might also be worth joining any cross-departmental teams, which not only helps you meet new people but also demonstrates your enthusiasm and commitment to the business.

Finally, just being a nice, kind and considerate person is an excellent way to make friends, wherever you are. Being someone who is always there to help a colleague is the kind of thing that makes you popular while making the effort to remember birthdays and work anniversaries also shows that you value them enough to take that step.

Following these steps will help you make friends with people from work and start to reap the benefits for your happiness, health and career prospects that having work friends can bring you. So why not get started today?

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